Advent 2008
Advent 2008: St. Mary, the Mother of Our Lord, Teaches Men to Magnify the Lord by the Gospel through Faith.
During this season of Advent, we will be meditating on The Magnificat. The Magnificat is a canticle composed by the Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord. 

            Magnificat means to magnify and comes from the first words of her canticle:  Anima me magnificat Dominum ("My soul magnifies the Lord").  St. Mary, like all Christians, magnifies the Lord by the Gospel through faith. 

            God is magnified or made great by the Gospel in this way:  First the Gospel creates faith and, thereby, reunion and communion of God with man.  Finally, man by faith sings the praises of God for the joys of the blessed communion established by the Gospel.  Thus the Gospel magnifies the Lord because the Lord becomes greater amongst humanity one converted heart at a time. Luther writes:  "For God is not magnified by us so far as His nature is concerned – He is unchangeable – but He is magnified in our knowledge and experience when we greatly esteem Him and highly regard Him, especially as to His grace and goodness."  (Luther's Works, Vol. 21, p. 307. 

            The Lutheran Church confesses this truth:  "For they first say this, namely, that the name of the Lord will be great.  This is accomplished by the preaching of the Gospel.  For through this the name of Christ is made known, and the mercy of the Father, promised in Christ is recognized.  The preaching of the Gospel produces faith in those who receive the Gospel.  They call upon God, they give thanks to God, they bear afflictions for their confession, they produce good works for the glory of Christ.  Thus the name of the Lord becomes great among the Gentiles."  (The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV. (XII.).32)